DOOM

Is your nostalgia center tingling yet?

How about now?

Doom is one of those games that almost anyone, gamer or no, has heard of. And if you played it back in its prime, you probably have a lot of fond memories. I don’t think anyone would argue if I called it one of the most beloved games of all time.

There’s a staggering amount of stuff to talk about when it comes to Doom: its frenetic, balls-to-the-wall gameplay; its technical achievements that revolutionized PC gaming; the parade of sequels (of varying quality) that followed; its identity in the late ’90s and early 2000s as the great corrupter of youth; the underdog story of our heroes, id Software; or my own strange and forbidden love for John Romero — too much to talk about in one blog post without boring you to tears. Rest assured, Doom isn’t going away — in the sense that it will undoubtedly be a regular topic on this blog, but also in the sense that the game itself refuses to die.

I can’t quite say it’s a masterpiece, as glorious as it is. Definitely, at any rate, it’s a brilliant, seminal work that brought gaming to the masses by way of intense action, intuitive controls, and a straightforward objective (kill everything and get to the exit). What really makes Doom a juggernaut — what gives it that undying appeal — is moddability. Can you think of any other game that is so easily modded and still allows the freedom of creativity that Doom does?

And that ease only gets… easier… as time goes on. These days, you can run Doom on anything that has buttons and a screen, and with the modern utilities out there, anyone can pick up a map editor and go. The sky is the limit.

So, Doom mods. WADs, actually, as they’re commonly called. It’s a super-niche market, but it’s something I’m deeply in love with and something I hope to maybe spread the word about. One of the planned series here on the blog is going to be my attempt to highlight newly released WADs as well as the classics that are close to my heart. So think of this as an introduction to that series. It’ll begin in earnest later in the month.

At the very least, what I’d like out of this is to show off the handiwork that goes into a Doom WAD, from architectural design to pixel art to music composition. What I’d really like is to get even a few readers curious enough to install Doom and take these WADs for a spin. It’s not like a copy of Doom is hard to come by, and once you’ve got yourself one, an ever-growing universe of quality, free fun is right there at your fingertips.

Welcome to the world of Doom WADs. I’ll be your guide.

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